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2008 Maldivian presidential election

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2008 Maldivian presidential election

← 2003 8 October 2008 (first round)
28 October 2008 (second round)
2013 →
Maldives President Nasheed.png
President Gayoom.jpg
Nominee Mohamed Nasheed Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
Running mate Mohammed Waheed Hassan Ahmed Thasmeen Ali
Popular vote 97,222 82,121
Percentage 54.21% 45.79%

President before election

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom

Elected President

Mohamed Nasheed

Emblem of Maldives.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Maldives

Presidential elections were held in the Maldives in two rounds on 8 and 28 October.[1] No candidate gained more than 50% of the vote in the first round on 8 October; incumbent president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom fared best with about 40%. A runoff was thus held on 28 October[2] between Gayoom and second-placed Mohamed Nasheed.[3] Nasheed won the election, unseating longtime incumbent Gayoom.[4]

The election was the first one held democratically in the history of the Maldives.[5]


The election was initially planned to be held on October 4,[6] but had to be delayed after the Majlis (national assembly) did not pass necessary reforms on time.[7]

The incumbent, President Gayoom, in power since 1978, ran for another five-year term. According to the new Constitution, which came into effect on August 7, 2008, Gayoom had served the maximum number of terms allowed (two). He argued that since the election was held under a new constitution, the previous terms did not count toward the limit.[8] The Supreme Court agreed that the limited terms were to be served "under this Constitution" and that Gayoom was therefore eligible to run in the election.[9]

On August 25, 2008, the Maldives National Congress and the Adhaalath Party announced that they would support Republican Party candidate Qasim Ibrahim.[10] On September 3, 2008, the six candidates participated in a televised debate.[11][12]


First round

There were 208,252 eligible voters in the Maldives in the first round, which is roughly 60% of the population.[13] There were a total 396 polling stations throughout the country.[14] Additionally, registered Maldivians living in Colombo, Thiruvananthapuram, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore were permitted to vote in Maldivian embassies and consulates.[14][15]

Voters went to the polls on October 8, 2008 starting at 09:00 local time (04:00 UTC), and expecting to end at 20:00 (15:00 UTC).[16] The elections were peaceful, though voting irregularities prevented some voters from voting.[17] Lines to polling stations were long on some islands, with waits sometimes exceeding six hours.[18] A number of citizens, especially of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), were found to be not on the voter lists, even though they had registered, and some islands did not even receive voter lists.[19][20] Later, the election committee said that anyone could vote, as long as he or she showed an ID card that was valid.[18] A handful of riot police were deployed after 300 protesters gathered around the central vote-counting location, Nasandhura Palace.[20]

Ahmed Shaheed, the independent vice-presidential nominee said, "It's a disaster... I think there is deliberate tampering."[18] MDP chairwoman Mariya Ahmed Didi, who incidentally registered but was not on a voter list, echoed similar concerns: "We hoped that once in our lifetime we could vote freely, but today we are being denied our right to vote."[19]

Election observers from the Commonwealth of Nations issued an interim report stating that the first round of the election was "reasonably credible" but that there were some problems with the voter list and training of officials and educating voters.[21]

Second round

In the second round, 209,294 people were eligible to vote.[22] There was a total of 403 polling stations across the Maldives.[22] Registered voters were also able to cast ballots at Maldivian embassies and diplomatic missions in India, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.[22]

Voting progressed fairly peacefully although there were some problems, such as people not being registered which prevented them from voting.[22]


First round

Six candidates competed in the first multi party election ever held in the Maldives. Early results indicated that there would be a runoff between Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed and his running mate, Dr. Waheed;[23] on the morning of October 9, 2008, the results showed Gayoom ahead with 40.3% against Nasheed and Dr. Waheed's 24.9%.[24] Those results stayed the same, and the four other candidates were eliminated, so a runoff between Gayoom and Nasheed was necessary.[25] Although Gayoom failed to win in the first round, as he had hoped, he expressed satisfaction with his score. According to Gayoom, the results showed that he was the Maldives' "most popular public figure", and he said that he was poised for victory in the second round.[26]

Second round

Following the first round results, it was announced that the second round would be held on October 29, although election law provided for the second round to be held within 10 days of the first. Election Commissioner Mohamed Ibrahim said that this later date would give the candidates more time to campaign and would give the electoral commission more time "to correct issues with the voter registry".[26]

Third-place finisher Hassan Saeed, a former attorney-general, threw his support to Nasheed and Dr. Waheed for the second round.[25] Ibrahim Ismail also backed Nasheed and Dr. Waheed, and the other two candidates were expected to vouch for Nasheed as well.[27]

Candidate Party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party 71,779 40.63 82,121 45.79
Mohamed Nasheed MDPGI 44,293 25.09 97,222 54.21
Hassan Saeed Independent 29,633 16.78
Qasim Ibrahim Republican Party 27,056 15.32
Umar Naseer Islamic Democratic Party 2,472 1.40
Ibrahim Ismail Social Liberal 1,382 0.78
Invalid/blank votes 1,235 1,861
Total 177,802 100 181,204 100
Registered voters/turnout 208,252 85.38 209,294 86.58
Source: Election Commission


  1. ^ "Maldives presidential poll now set for Oct. 8". Reuters. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  2. ^ "Official presidential election results announced". Miadhu Daily. 2008-11-02. Retrieved 2008-11-02.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Maldives poll goes to second round". Al Jazeera English. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-10.
  4. ^ "Maldives president loses election". The Sydney Morning Herald. Agence France-Presse. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-10-29.
  5. ^ "Vote count underway after landmark Maldives election". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  6. ^ "Elections Slated For 4 October". Minivan Daily. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-09-09.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Maldives elections 'are delayed'". BBC News. 2008-09-10. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  8. ^ "Maldives adopt new constitution". BBC News. 2008-08-07. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  9. ^ "Supreme Court declares Gayoom can contest in the Election". Miadhu Daily. 2008-10-03. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  10. ^ "Maldives National Congress and Adhaalath Decides to Support Republicans". Raajje Khabaru. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2008-09-06.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Country's First Ever Presidential Debate Takes Place". Raajje Khabaru. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-06.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Presidential Q&A: What The Candidates Said". Minivan Daily. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2008-09-06.[dead link]
  13. ^ "Election Commission urges for a free and peaceful election". Miadhu Daily. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  14. ^ a b "Maldivian nationals in Kerala cast vote in their presidential elections". Daily India. 2008-10-08. Retrieved 2008-10-08.
  15. ^ "Election Commission urges for a free and peaceful election". Miadhu Daily. 2008-10-08. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  16. ^ Evans, Judith (2008-10-08). "Maldives hold historic presidential poll". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  17. ^ Pasricha, Anjana (2008-10-08). "Maldives Holds Its First Democratic Presidential Election". Voice of America. Archived from the original on October 13, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  18. ^ a b c Nessman, Ravi (2008-10-08). "Maldives votes in first democratic election". Google News. Associated Press. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  19. ^ a b "Maldives opposition says poll rigged". Taipei Times. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  20. ^ a b Lang, Olivia; Rasheed, Zaheena (2008-10-08). "Elections May Be Called Off". Minivan Daily. Retrieved 2008-10-09.[dead link]
  21. ^ Arthur, Owen (2008-10-10). "2008 Maldives Presidential Election - Interim Statement". Commonwealth of Nations. Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  22. ^ a b c d "Maldivians vote in run-off election". Miadhu Daily. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2008-10-29.[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Evans, Judith (2008-10-09). "Early Morning Unofficial Results Suggest Gayoom-Anni Runoff". Minivan Daily. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  24. ^ "Gayoom faces run-off in Maldives". BBC News. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  25. ^ a b Nessman, Ravi (2008-10-09). "Maldives leader faces runoff in 1st free election". KOHD. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  26. ^ a b "Maldives run-off vote set for October 29". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 2008-10-10. Archived from the original on 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
  27. ^ Rasheed, Zaheena (2008-10-10). "Anni Says Whole Opposition Is Behind Him". Minivan Daily. Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-09.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 January 2020, at 10:34
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